Yes? Vivitar 75-205 mm 1:3.8 Close Focusing Auto Zoom

Started Jul 30, 2008 | Discussions
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Amy S
Regular MemberPosts: 206
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Yes? Vivitar 75-205 mm 1:3.8 Close Focusing Auto Zoom
Jul 30, 2008

I have a chance to get this lens cheap

Vivitar, 75-205 mm 1:3.8 Close Focusing Auto Zoom

the serial number is 22839201 and it takes 58mm filters.

From reading, I think this was a well regarded lens made by Kiron.

Do you think it's worth $30ish?

I'm in need of a macro lens - does anyone know if this is a true macro lens? I figure this one will get me started with macro until I can save $$$ for a current model.

I have a D200 - and I'm not super informed about AI, non-AI, etc., although I've viewed and read about the various lens types. It appears to me from a chart on KenRockwell that if it 'fits' on my camera, it will work. I can't mess up my camera somehow by attaching a non-compatible lens, can I?

Thanks for any knowledge on this lens.

Amy

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swivelfan
Regular MemberPosts: 417
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Re: Yes? Vivitar 75-205 mm 1:3.8 Close Focusing Auto Zoom
In reply to Amy S, Jul 30, 2008

The Vivitar 75-205mm lens is not a macro lens. The focus range goes down to slightly below 2 metres / 6,5 feet. At the 75mm setting there is a pssibility to engage a "close focus". Since no magnification factor is indicated on the lens I can't tell you how big the magnification in the close-focus range is but it certainly is not a substitute for a macro lens.

The optical performance of the lens is medicore. Wide open the lens is simply awful, at f/5,6 sharpness is just acceptable from 75mm to 150mm. Above that you need to stop down to f/8 to achieve acceptable sharpness.

If you are looking for a cheap macro lens get a manual 55mm Micro-Nikkor (f/3,5 or f/2,8-version)

If you are looking for a cheap manual tele zoom get a 80-200mm 4,5 AI Nikkor with a serial number starting with 7 or 8. Much better optically and cheap. Sharp with excellent colors and contrast wide open up to 135mm, from then on stopping down to f/5,6 is recommended. To turn this lens into a macro lens you could try to use an extension tube. Kenko manual tubes for AI-lenses can be had quite cheap, too.

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swivelfan (I started with the legendary Coolpix swivel series: 9 9 5 / 4 5 0 0 with all the converters, now D 2 0 0 and a few lenses)

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Amy S
Amy S OP
Regular MemberPosts: 206
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Re: Yes? Vivitar 75-205 mm 1:3.8 Close Focusing Auto Zoom
In reply to swivelfan, Jul 30, 2008

Thank you for this insight, I appreciate it!

It was just something that came up in my area, and I thought I'd pick up. Doesn't sound like a good choice.

Amy

swivelfan wrote:

The Vivitar 75-205mm lens is not a macro lens. The focus range goes
down to slightly below 2 metres / 6,5 feet. At the 75mm setting there
is a pssibility to engage a "close focus". Since no magnification
factor is indicated on the lens I can't tell you how big the
magnification in the close-focus range is but it certainly is not a
substitute for a macro lens.

The optical performance of the lens is medicore. Wide open the lens
is simply awful, at f/5,6 sharpness is just acceptable from 75mm to
150mm. Above that you need to stop down to f/8 to achieve acceptable
sharpness.

If you are looking for a cheap macro lens get a manual 55mm
Micro-Nikkor (f/3,5 or f/2,8-version)

If you are looking for a cheap manual tele zoom get a 80-200mm 4,5 AI
Nikkor with a serial number starting with 7 or 8. Much better
optically and cheap. Sharp with excellent colors and contrast wide
open up to 135mm, from then on stopping down to f/5,6 is recommended.
To turn this lens into a macro lens you could try to use an extension
tube. Kenko manual tubes for AI-lenses can be had quite cheap, too.

-- hide signature --

swivelfan (I started with the legendary Coolpix swivel series: 9 9 5
/ 4 5 0 0 with all the converters, now D 2 0 0 and a few lenses)

-- hide signature --
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mironv
Veteran MemberPosts: 9,778Gear list
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Re: Yes? Vivitar 75-205 mm 1:3.8 Close Focusing Auto Zoom
In reply to Amy S, Jul 31, 2008
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Any lens that makes 1:5 magnification can be marked MACRO. There are many budget lenses under $200 that can make a 1:1 or 1:2 magnification. For casual closeups in 1:4 to 1:2 many zooms can do. Sigma AF70-300mm Macro is one and brand new is $185. There are many older manual lenses but best buy for anyone starting in macro is a good book to learn how you can get any magnification with any lens look for John Shown Closeups in Nature.
Mironv
http://mironv.smugmug.com/

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Ernied
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Re: Yes? Vivitar 75-205 mm 1:3.8 Close Focusing Auto Zoom
In reply to Amy S, Mar 26, 2011

its safe to say that if its vivitar its bad to mediocre.

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J.E.D.

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jl22182
Regular MemberPosts: 300
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Re: Yes? Vivitar 75-205 mm 1:3.8 Close Focusing Auto Zoom
In reply to Amy S, Mar 26, 2011

My copy of this lens was pretty bad. I can't recommend it, not even at $30.

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Supper Dave
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Re: Yes? Vivitar 75-205 mm 1:3.8 Close Focusing Auto Zoom
In reply to Amy S, 3 weeks ago

I know this is an old thread, but these lenses are still floating around and people find this thread when searching for information before buying them, so I'd like to contradict the advice from all of the people that responded.

Simply because it is a Vivitar does not make it a bad lens. That is just ridiculous.

http://forum.mflenses.com/testing-my-lenses-part-105-vivitar-75-205mm-3-8-t57276.html

There are many good reviews, and many tens of thousands of excellent photos taken with this lens.

To say it is "just awful" wide open is also ridiculous. Take a look at the samples on the page I linked to, maybe the shooter is just an exceptionally good photographer?  Maybe he got the only good lens from that manufacturer? Or modified it with custom glass and coatings?

I don't know, but I do know not to take all the advice on the internet as factual and I have one coming in the mail and I'll find out myself next week.

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Kitacanon
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Re: Yes? Vivitar 75-205 mm 1:3.8 Close Focusing Auto Zoom
In reply to Amy S, 3 weeks ago

Better choice: 75-300mm/4.5-5.6 AF-Nikkor....best long-range zoom for $75.

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Supper Dave
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Re: Yes? Vivitar 75-205 mm 1:3.8 Close Focusing Auto Zoom
In reply to Kitacanon, 2 weeks ago

Thanks, I'll keep my eyes open for one.

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